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KINGSBURG - The Kingsburg girls water polo team were nothing short of dominant in a 14-5 Central Sequoia League victory over Dinuba High on Oct. 2 in Kingsburg.

Kingsburg improved to 2-0 in league play and extended its winning streak against CSL opponents to 12-straight games, dating back to last year. 

From start to finish, Kingsburg dominated Dinuba on both sides of the ball.

The Vikings had a 5-1 lead at the end of the first quarter and were ahead 7-2 at halftime. In the second half, Kingsburg continued its dominance outscoring the Emperors 7-3.

Six players on the Vikings scored at least once and five of them were responsible for multiple goals in the win.

Sofia Righetti led the Vikings with four goals. Jessica Burch-Konda had three; while Megan Buendia, Abigail Lunde and Shay Hanson each finished with two. Julia Gamble also had one goal.

At the time, Exeter and Selma were next on Kingsburg’s schedule, which made the possibility of Dinuba of being a trap game. For many of the Vikings players, it was important to not overlook an Emperors team, who are 4-12 and 0-3 in CSL play.

Righetti, a sophomore, said they’re expecting tougher games from Exeter and Selma and the Dinuba game was about executing plays.

“We went into it just to have a good game,” Righetti said. “We tried to work out plays and get them down in this game, so we can be more prepared for Exeter and Selma.”

Righetti she also added three assists in the Vikings win over Dinuba.

Hanson, a sophomore, said her main focus against Dinuba was to improve on offense.

“I’ve always just focused on defense,” Hanson said. “I've just been starting to be able to learn how to set on offense.”

As of Oct. 9, Kingsburg was 12-5 overall, but the team’s five losses are more than last year’s mark at four. In 2017, the girls went 21-4 overall and 9-0 in league play.

Vikings head coach Emily Dewey said the main difference between this season and last season is the team’s depth, but the girls have chemistry and experience to replicate its success from the 2017 Valley championship season.

“Overall, what’s working is the girls putting in the effort,” Dewey said. “I think they’re working as a team and building each other up and they want each other to get better. They communicate well, and I think that’s a huge thing for high school sports; girls building each other up and not tearing each other down.”

Dewey said the lack of depth is due to multiple players suffering injuries early in the season. Dewey said she had multiple girls play at different positions that they don’t normally play.

“Our numbers are a little low,” Dewey said. “So it’ll be nice to get some more girls out here somehow because we don’t have that many subs, but I think it’s good to have girls playing multiple positions.”

Dewey said she’s considering promoting girls from the junior varsity team to add depth for its league schedule.

“I don’t ever want to be stuck in a position when we’re playing a man down in the game,” Dewey said.

On Oct. 4, the Kingsburg girls played at Exeter High, who was the toughest opponent for the Vikings so far this season. Kingsburg defeated the Monarchs 17-13 and extended their league winning streak to 13 games.

The Vikings will play Hanford West Oct. 15 in Hanford, before playing Dinuba High on Wednesday, Oct. 17, in Dinuba. 

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Jeremiah Martinez can be reached at 559-583-2413 or jmartinez@hanfordsentinel.com

News Reporter

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